Feb. 20, 2016
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Boise State added a seventh event title to its weekend haul Saturday night but it was not enough as the Broncos were edged out of the 2016 Mountain West Championship, 664-651, by first-place Nevada.
The 13-point loss was the second-lowest margin of victory in Mountain West Championships history, bigger only than Boise State's five-point win in 2012.
But the night was not without its highlights and triumphs for the Broncos. The 400 free relay team of Brittany Aoyama, Sam Wicks, Emma Chard and Katelyn Martin successfully defended the team's title in the event, winning the 2016 crown in a school and conference-record time of 3:15.38, which was also the team's third NCAA A cut of the meet.
For Wicks, the title was her fifth of the meet (200 FR, 400 FR, 200 MR, 100 back, 200 IM), and at the conclusion of Saturday's program she was named the 2015-16 Mountain West Swimmer of the Year. It was her second honor of the night, as prior to the finals she was named the recipient of the 2015-16 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Senior Award.
Head coach Jeremy Kipp also took home some hardware, being named the 2015-16 Mountain West Coach of the Year.
Wicks nearly had a sixth title at the meet, finishing second in the 200 back championship final as her time of 1:54.76 was just 0.29 of a second behind champion Ugne Mazutaityte of Fresno State (1:54.47). Freshman Ally Kleinsorgen finished off a strong first collegiate championship meet by taking third in the event with a time of 1:56.59.
Three Broncos qualified for the 100 free championship final, with Aoyama leading the Bronco contingent in that race with a time of 49.43, good for fourth place. Chard was sixth in 49.74 and Martin seventh in 49.90.
Emily Mathis also took home a fourth-place finish, this one coming in the 200 breast as she touched the wall in 2:13.34. In the 1,650 free, Blake Balogh turned in a fifth-place effort in 16:47.31 while Amelia Draney was eighth in 16:53.56.
On platform, the Bronco divers turned in their finest outings of the meet, as Kiley Carlson (238.90) and Karli Kriewall (233.75) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the A final, while freshman Cassidy Bose posted her first NCAA Zone Qualifying score with a 254.70 to top the B final. Kacee Olson was third in the B final and 11th overall with a score of 237.35.
Other Broncos to score in the swimming events Saturday night included Mandy Barnes taking 10th in the 200 fly in 2:01.98 and 11th in the 1,650 free in 17:01.03, as well as Taylor Padington (17:01.44, 12th) in the 1,650 free, Laura Williams (2:17.16, 12th) in the 200 breast, Abbey Sorensen (1:59.19, 13th) in the 200 back and Cody Evans (50.26, 14th) in the 100 free.
In the team competition, the Broncos held a slim lead going into the platform finals, but Nevada took the lead for good as divers Krysta Palmer (362.15), Zoe Lei (278.00) and Sharae Zheng (248.60) finished first, second and fourth, respectively, to collect 52 points for the Wolf Pack.
Nevada's 400 free relay team would clinch the win with a runner-up finish to the Broncos in the 400 free relay.
For the weekend, Boise State swimmers set eight school records. Individually, Sam Wicks set records in the 100 back (52.03) and 200 IM (1:57.18), while Emma Chard set benchmarks in the 200 free (1:45.11) and 500 free (4:40.21).
Relay marks were set in the 200 free relay (1:28.93 - Aoyama, Wicks, Martin, Sorensen), 400 free relay (3:35.11 - Aoyama, Wicks, Chard, Martin), 800 free relay (7:04.60 - Chard, Aoyama, Balogh, Cann) and the 200 medley relay (1:37.63 - Wicks, Williams, Aoyama, Martin). The times for the three free relays also qualified as NCAA A cuts.